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Fungistatic Effects of Carbon Dioxide in a Package Environment on the Decay of Michigan Sweet Cherries by Monilinia fructicola. R. M. De Vries-Paterson and A. L. Jones, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology and The Pesticide Research Center; and A. C. Cameron, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824. Plant Dis. 75:943-946. Accepted for publication 14 March 1991. Copyright 1991 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-75-0943.

Fruits of five cultivars of sweet cherry were packaged in low-density polyethylene and stored in air or in carbon dioxide (CO2) ranging from 12 to 50% at 20 C for 7 days, or 0 C for 14 days followed by 20 C for 7 days. Before packaging, one-half of the fruits were artificially wounded and inoculated with conidia of Monilinia fructicola. The incidence of brown rot was recorded daily, and lesion diameters were measured at the end of four of the six experiments. Elevated levels of CO2 reduced the onset of lesion development by 17 days depending on the concentration and reduced the percentage of fruits with lesions, and at the end of the experiment, lesions were smaller on fruits held in CO2 than on fruits held in air (controls). Control of brown rot improved as the concentration of CO2 increased from 12 to 50%. At 50% CO2, the development of brown rot on all fruits was completely inhibited for a 7-day period at 20 C. However, the fruits developed decay within 24 days after they were returned to air at 25 C, indicating that the CO2 treatments were fungistatic not fungicidal.